For once the Lord is not to be thanked today, over here in the land of baguettes and days off galore. Usually he’s the one giving us a mid-week Sunday here, a welcome Friday at home there, or a random Tuesday break which means we also have to have the Monday off. Naturally. We celebrate everything to do with his birth, resurrection, up-to-heaven day (always a Thursday in May – don’t ask me why), even his mum’s own up-to-heaven day in August. Every single one of these days is religiously respected, no pun intended. And even the most horribly non-believing workers throughout France all get the benefit. So a big thank you goes to the bearded man in the sky. And I’m not talking about the hipster airline pilot who refused to shave.
Today is a bit different. A Catholic day off it is, but this one is to give us the opportunity to celebrate All Saints. All of them. The ones you have heard of and the ones with the really crazy first names. Like Parfait, meaning Perfect. I met a young teenager named this, many years ago. He was certainly a very nice lad, but how hard it must be to live up to a name like that. And Innocent. Or Urbain. Or Théophanie or Paterne.
They all have their own day on the calendar and young French parents often use that very calendar to find a cute name for the latest addition to the family. But some of these names really should be avoided at all costs. Like Bonaventure, Scholastique or Modeste. So far I haven’t met any babes with such names, but you never know. Originality and all that.
In any case, the bells have been ringing out all day for these Saints. I heard them dinging down through the fireplace as I ate my very late breakfast. They were still danging as we gathered round the table for our Sunday, oops Wednesday lunch. They kept on donging as I painted my nails a holy shade of gold. They even accompanied Hubby and I on our weekend, nope, mid-week postprandial stroll. I can still hear them now, bringing this lovely, lazy day to a close.
So thank you dearest Saints for giving us these twenty-four sweet hours, whether you are the extremely ordinary plain Jean, or the wacky and weird, but undoubtedly wonderful Willibald. And no, I am going to say nothing whatsoever about that particular Saint’s name. Make up your own jokes please.
Next day off here – the 11th of November. But that one’s a whole different kettle of poisson now, isn’t it? There were no Saints involved there, just millions of heroic men who deserve far more than a simple thank you. N’est ce pas?
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